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Growth Mindset for 9th Graders

A free, evidence-based program designed to increase students' engagement, motivation, and ultimately success by laying the foundation for a growth mindset.

Free for all high schools

Many students hold debilitating beliefs about their intelligence. They believe things like, “I’m not smart enough” or “This subject just isn’t for me.” These beliefs can be especially damaging during the academically and socially challenging transition to high school. Left unaddressed, these fears can become self-fulfilling prophecies that feed a destructive cycle of reduced motivation, engagement, and academic performance.

However, research shows that schools can boost performance—particularly for students with a history of academic struggle—by helping students develop a growth mindset: the belief that they can develop their academic abilities through effective study strategies. Growth Mindset for 9th Graders is designed to help students understand that academic aptitude can be improved.

Short & Simple

Online program delivered in two 30-minute sessions. Includes survey questions, short reading passages, and brief reflection exercises. Students will learn:

  • Scientific evidence showing that the brain is malleable.

  • Specific behaviors that can rewire the brain and increase one’s intellectual abilities.

  • The importance of effective study strategies and of getting help from others.

About the Program

How It Works

1. Learn & Discuss

Review the Program Information Packet to learn how participation works.

2. Sign-up

Create a user account and prepare to participate using our online platform.

3. Participate

9th grade students complete the two 30-minute online modules during class. The modules should be completed about 1-4 weeks apart.

4. Track Impact

See which students completed the program, and, if desired, compare with engagement metrics and academic outcomes.

Ready to Get Started?

Continue to our online platform where you will be able to sign up and prepare to participate.

For More Information

The Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) is a nonprofit research and development institute that translates insights from psychological science into cutting-edge tools, measures, and recommendations that educators anywhere can use to foster healthy and equitable academic engagement and success. We are so excited to bring you Growth Mindset for 9th Graders and to make the latest research on growth mindset strategies actionable to every high school in the United States.

Growth Mindset for 9th Graders is based on a long line of studies conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin, including Drs. Carol Dweck, Dave Paunesku, Carissa Romero, Greg Walton, and David Yeager. The Growth Mindset for 9th Graders module was developed and tested through the National Mindset Study, a project of the Student Experience Research Network (formerly Mindset Scholars Network) led by Principal Investigator David Yeager which was supported by ICF International and PERTS. The software, logistical processes, and materials used to help schools run Growth Mindset for 9th Graders were created by PERTS in partnership with multiple schools across the country.


Thanks to the generous financial support from The Character Lab, the Bezos Family Foundation, and the Raikes Foundation, we are thrilled to make Growth Mindset for 9th Graders freely available to all high schools in the United States. In doing so, we hope to advance our mission to empower educators everywhere to implement evidence-based strategies effectively.

Thank you!

Bezos Family Foundation
Raikes Foundation

We are thrilled to make Growth Mindset for 9th Graders available to all high schools in the United States. This program is free thanks to the generous financial and programmatic support from the Character Lab, the Bezos Family Foundation, and the Raikes Foundation.


  • 6.4% point increase in satisfactory course completion among students who had a GPA of 2.0 or below prior to the program.

  • 4% point increase in satisfactory course completion among underperforming students in a replication and extension of the study above.

Tested since 2010 in multiple randomized controlled trials with thousands of high school students. Past findings include:


Review the Program Information Packet to learn more about the research and how to run Growth Mindset for 9th Graders at your school. We suggest reading through the packet and reviewing it with your colleagues before signing up.

Information Packet

Have additional questions? Review our FAQ!

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